Laudato Si emphasizes small acts, but it goes on to explain how we need to stand in solidarity in order to make an even bigger impact. Pope Francis, in paragraph 229, states “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good.” This statement aligns well with occupational therapy due to the instruction to be “good and decent” people everyone is worthy and deserving of being treated morally just. Pope Francis says that there’s been enough shallow concern for those who suffer, and that we need to act now. We all have a responsibility to care for those who suffer, rather than turning away and ignoring them. Occupational therapy turns towards those people and take on the responsibility to care for all because they are human.
Laudato Si and Occupational therapy both relate to the Catholic Social Teaching of Human Dignity. Laudato Si supports this social teaching because it is instructing us to respect the worth and dignity of every person by taking action to protect them. We must all care for others because they are human and intrinsically valuable. According to Pope Francis, all persons must be treated ethically and valued for who they are. Occupational therapists act in accordance with this principle because we treat all, due to their innate value, and especially those who are shunned. OTs are not dismissing the needs for assistance and additional support of those who need it, but rather put all their efforts into working according to this principle.
Care for Creation
Care for God’s creation refers to everything, from the people and animals and all living things to the environment. Relating specifically to occupational therapy, we care for all people whom we treat. No one is looked at as more valuable than another and we do everything in our power to improve the individual’s abilities. OTs care for the person because they want to, and have no ulterior motive to why they do what they do. Laudato Si focuses more on care for the environment because God gifted it to us and we should protect it. When we harm the environment, we harm others and ourselves because everyone is affected to some degree.